Tag: HR Policy Foundation

Redeem Your Lunch Hour

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the HR Policy Foundation.

“That was a productive lunch…interesting. I should do this more often”

At some point during your work day (especially if you’re in a more traditional 9-to-5 setting), you’re going to take a break to eat. You have this chunk of time in the middle of your day called “lunch hour”… so how can you make the most of it? Sure, you need to eat. That’s a given. But that lunch hour can be used for so much more too.

Use your lunch hour for networking. There is no better way to make connections that could help you in either your current career or the career you hope to have. Use your lunch hour to have a networking meeting and start building those relationships in a casual and relaxed setting. Nicole, a hiring expert from ManpowerGroup, says:

“Most professionals would be happy to sit down with you. You should be ready to pick up the bill though as that would be the proper etiquette for this type of situation.” (View Nicole’s full response)

Create space to take a break and relax. Not every lunch hour needs to be full of meetings—sometimes, you need to just step away to recharge before getting back to work. That’s okay! Cassandra, a hiring expert from Verizon, addresses this:

“Many of us work in high stress, high volume roles that require a great deal from us personally and every now and then a break is needed during the course of the day.”

Take time for personal reflection. It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a busy work week. Take a few minutes during your lunch hour to make note of any successes or wins you’ve had lately, any progress you’ve made, and any areas you think you can improve. Write them down in a journal or in a note on your phone so you can revisit them and see how far you’ve come.

Get a change of scenery. Sitting at your desk for eight hours or staying at your same station for an entire work day is not ideal. Make an effort to get up and move during your lunch hour, even if it’s just for a quick lap around the parking lot or your building.

“If you’re talking about a professional job in an office environment then breaks can be looked upon as being critical to optimum productivity, as long as they’re not excessive,” Stephanie from AT&T says. (View Stephanie’s full response).

Exercise your mental muscles. Your lunch hour is a great time to work on your personal growth and development! Listen to a podcast while you’re eating, read a chapter of a book related to your personal or professional interests, read the latest Fast Company articles, or catch up on the latest news headlines. Remember to adhere to your company’s guidelines on what’s allowed and acceptable in the workplace. If browsing online or streaming podcasts isn’t okay, try taking your lunch to a local restaurant, park, or coffee shop periodically.

Your lunch hour can be used for so much more than just chowing down—fuel your body, your mind, and your relationships and your whole workday will improve.
Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. The contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

Ready to make your next career move? Search over 2 million job opportunities on My.jobs!

Why You Make Your Salary

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the HR Policy Foundation.

photo of Paris at dusk

“I don’t make much now, but my dream vacation in Paris will be possible soon!”

Everyone in the working world knows that salaries are important—money makes the world go around whether we like that fact or not. What you may not know, however, is why exactly you make the salary that you make. Different positions have different salary rates, but why is that?

One main component is who you are personally.

“A lot of factors come into play including geographic location, skills required for the position, education level, experience required, type of work, etc,” says Ashley from Cardinal Health. (View Ashley’s full response)

Another component is supply and demand when it comes to specific skills or traits needed for certain positions.

“If you have a skill that not many people have and there is a demand for a role that requires that skill, you will most likely receive a higher salary to attract and then retain your services at a company,” Lori from Cigna says.

Another main component is the position itself. It’s an understood fact that entry-level positions make less than management positions which make less than executive level positions. “Do some research on what the going rate is for the type of job you are seeking in your location and industry,” Sara from American Express says. (View Sara’s full response)

Location is also a crucial component to setting salaries. Cost of living plays a large role—the same job will pay more in NYC or LA than it would in Oklahoma City or Austin, TX. Do research to find out what is common across the board for your field, as well as more specifically what is common in your area, because both pieces of information will help you in your negotiating.

Companies sometimes leave room for you (and your salary) to grow over time. Most positions tend to have a salary range, and you may be discouraged or disappointed to find that the offered salary is at the lower end. Don’t let this be an instant disqualifier though. Cassie from The Hershey Company says,

“They typically also give room for merit increases each year so there is room to grow within the pay range based on performance.”

Know that typically, companies bring their best offer to the table when it comes to salaries, but there may be room for potential negotiation. Research thoroughly so you can understand your field, the job market, what your skills and experience are worth, and what the company is working with as well. There might not be much wiggle room at first, but working hard and proving yourself over time always has the potential to bring bonuses and raises to boost that salary even more.

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The Trait Which Makes You Most Promotable

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the HR Policy Foundation.

“If I can dream it, then I can make it happen.”

It’s difficult to find a person who doesn’t want a promotion. A bigger office, better pay, and higher levels of responsibility are all desirable. Is there a common character trait of people who are highly promotable? And if there is what is it? Curiosity is the trait that will catapult you into promotion after promotion.

Curiosity keeps you humble

The curious person understands their knowledge base is finite. There is more beyond their experience. If you’re curious you address each problem with questions, instead of answers. Humility is especially helpful to entry-level job seekers, because it moves you to interact with more established individuals in your field in a way that builds relationships. A quick way to be seen as a bit immature, and ignorant about your ignorance is to believe you’ve got it all figured out. (View full segment on Jobpedia)

Curiosity leads to new ways of doing things

The toddler who asks why the sky is blue is on to something. When you ask, “Why?” you create a space for something new to exist. Curious people aren’t satisfied with doing things the same way they’ve always been done. They search for new innovative ways of thinking and acting to best optimize the world they live in. (View full segment on Jobpedia)

Curiosity creates large networks

A curious person is not fearful of rejection. If you can maintain your curiosity it will lead to asking questions like, “I wonder if Bill would introduce me to Sally…who happens to know Bill Gates?” For the non-curious individual the question seems absurd, but to the curious anything is possible. An expert from Hospira, Ellen, summed it up like this, “Network, network, network – even when you are not looking for your next opportunity. Cultivating relations with alumni associates, friends of friends, and business partners can help advance your career. Those that master the art of networking no matter the circumstances generally will always have the advantage.”

If you’re looking to advance your career curiosity will most certainly get you there. Whether it’s keeping you humble, inspiring new ways of achieving goals, or expanding your network of connections—curiosity will take you far.

Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. The contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

When Should You Get Your Master’s Degree?

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the HR Policy Foundation.

image of young female professional

“I know graduate school costs a lot, but it will pay off in the long run.”

When is the right time to sign off on at least a couple more years of school, and tens of thousands in tuition expenses? Furthering your formal education almost always pays immediate dividends, but the process of obtaining more education is costly. When should you get your Master’s degree, and when should you hold off?

Stephanie from Asurion said, “Continuing your education is a great idea, but only if it’s something you really want to do.” (Read Stephanie’s full response)

Before you dive headlong into a weighty commitment it’s worth evaluating why you’re doing it. Your undergrad may have been what your parents expected of you, but a graduate degree is an entirely different animal. If you’re going to pursue a Master’s degree make sure it’s what you want to do. You will work harder than you’ve ever worked before, so before you commit time and a great deal of cash to another degree work out the cost.

You may decide to hold off on your graduate degree until after you’ve got a few years of job experience.

Emily from Fifth Thirds Bank believes waiting a few years is the way to go, “I recommend starting your career and building your work experience.” (Read Emily’s full response)

Emily brings up an important point to consider. If you wait to get your graduate degree until after you’ve started your career you may not have to pay for it.

As Eddie from American Express points out you’ll also know exactly what degree would be helpful in your field. “This [obtaining a Master’s degree before entering the workforce] is dependent on what industry you are trying to get into. You should reach out to people in the type of job or industry you want to enter. Find out what companies look for. (Read Eddie’s full response)

If you want to pursue your Master’s degree it’s going to be helpful to ask some key questions:

  • How long will it take to complete my graduate degree?
  • What area of study will be the most beneficial to my long term goals?
  • Will this benefit my career in the short term and in the long term?
  • On average what is the yearly difference in pay for someone in my field with a Master’s level education verses someone with only a Bachelor’s degree and 3 years of experience?
  • If I started my career immediately could I find an employer who would invest in my education with me through a tuition reimbursement program?
  • What does your mentor(s) believe you should do in relation to your education?
  • Do I really want to go back to school?

Obtaining your graduate degree in your career field is almost always beneficial. However, the timing of when you get your degree is worth weighing. If you’re having an incredibly difficult time finding a job in your career field then perhaps working on your Master’s right now is the route to take. The point is there is no ‘one size fits all.’ Think deeply about your circumstances, and ask the questions we recommended above to discern whether grad school is your next step or if it’s just another step down the line.

Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. The contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

How to Change Careers

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the site.

young man gazing to his right

“Why did I major in finance?? I realize now that my passion is advertising.”

 

Changing careers is common for many people. Whether you’ve simply discovered you actually hate your current career path or your industry has made it impossible for you to continue being employed. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your twenties or fifties, when you change careers it often means starting over.

How do you transition careers successfully?

Changing jobs is difficult, but changing careers can be an overwhelming undertaking. We wanted to know what our hiring experts believed about switching careers—namely how to transition careers well.

Sara, a hiring expert from American Express, gave this very insightful take on career change, “First, focus on building your knowledge of your areas of interest by networking with individuals in your company to learn more about the work that they do. If Marketing [for example] is a focus for you, then seek out people in that area to learn about their projects, the day to day, core skill sets and talent attributes.

Once you have determined this is where you want to focus, analyze your current and previous work and role to see where the alignment of skills and experience are with Marketing or your chosen focus area. Be sure to recognize gaps and either be prepared to address them in an interview or find ways to build these skills and experience.”

(View Sara’s full response)

Following Sara’s advice is important to understanding some on the job realities that no classroom or book will accurately communicate. The point is to gather as much information as possible and learn at an accelerated rate so you can put yourself in line with other individuals in that field.

How do you put a resume together for your newly desired career, when most of your experience is in a completely unrelated field?

Steve, an expert from Caterpillar, gave this advice when it comes to tailoring your resume for a career change, “Any time that you are applying for a position for which you do not possess a great deal of on-the-job experience, it is critical for you to structure your resume in a way that emphasizes the other aspects of your background. Next, you should focus on your leadership experience and other types of activities in which you participate on campus, in the community, at church, etc. In particular, focus on any leadership roles that you have assumed in these activities.  These activities are important to list, in my opinion, as they speak to your character and the type of person that you are. This is what could differentiate you from other candidates.”

(View Steve’s full response)

Changing careers can be challenging, and it can cause a great amount of anxiety. However, it can also be exhilarating and life changing. The keys to making the change will be allowing yourself enough time to gather the kind of knowledge necessary to make the jump, and utilizing your existing network to get where you want to go. And if you feel like making a career change is impossible, just remember what Walt Disney once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

 

Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. The contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

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